Two persons lost their lives on Saturday as operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers engaged themselves along Kobape-Siun-Sagamu expressway.
The NCS operatives attached to the Federal Operating Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ Lagos, were reported to have been on the trail of the smugglers who were conveying contraband parboiled rice outside the state capital.
The smugglers, according to an account, ambushed the NCS operatives who were conveying the foreign rice loaded in 12 vehicles to their warehouse.
Tribune Online learnt that travellers both to and fro the highway scampered for safety during the shoot out.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of FOU Zone A, Theophilus Duniya confirmed the incident on Saturday night.
He disclosed that, two of operatives of the NCS who sustained injuries from the attack are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
Duniya said, “The patrol team had intercepted twelve vehicles of different kinds, laden with bags of foreign parboiled rice and were on their way to the government warehouse before smugglers mobilised themselves with the support of their sympathisers and attacked the team with dangerous weapons.
“During the exchange of gun fire, two of the attackers lost their lives and one suspect was arrested.
“Out of the 12 vehicles in the convoy of the smugglers, our operatives were able to leave with four of them laden with smuggled foreign parboiled rice.
“The arrested suspect and the seizure have been brought to the Unit Headquarters, Ikeja.
“The Ag. Controller of the Unit, Hussein K Ejibunu frowned at the avoidable loss of lives due to the unprovoked attack. He has ordered full scale Investigations into the matter to apprehend other fleeing suspects with their smuggled wares.
“He (Ejibunu) cautioned the youths to eschew violent confrontations with government operatives and be law abiding at all times
“He added that such violent attacks will never deter or threaten customs operatives from carrying out their legitimate duties.”
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